20 maggio 2012

A conversation with Rahul Mehrotra

Vi segnaliamo un'intervista davvero interessante concessa dall'architetto ed urbanista indiano (nonchè docente all'università di Harvard) Rahul Mehrotra, pubblicata il 17 maggio 2012 da The New York Times. Leggiamo alcune dichiarazioni: 'At the macro level what is happening is very interesting because while the intelligentsia and the élite are focusing on the seven or eight big cities, the real urban time bomb are the 392 towns that make up the larger landscape of India. These 392 towns currently contain approximately 50.000 people each and are projected to grow up to 100.000 people that in 20 years might even be a million people. So potentially between 250 and 400 million urban Indians will live in towns that are not even on radars currently. (...) I think both the architecture and urban landscape of India has to necessarily be one of pluralism because India is a multiethnic, multicultural landscape and I think architecture and cities are the physical expression of those aspirations. I don’t think we can go the China way, where everything is made in a singular image; in the mutinous democracy of India that’s going to be impossible. (...) For me personally, the two most important design moves (a Mumbai) are the sweep of Marine Drive (...) and the other thing that is really emblematic aspect of the city is Dharavi. (...) (Dharavi) it's also emblematic of the real inequities that exist in our cities and that people have to create home for themselves without having their basic needs fulfilled, and a total failure on the part of the government to provide them housing. (...) I think in Mumbai in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s with ideas for New Bombay and new metropolitan imaginations was all about evolutionary gestures. But today in Mumbai we celebrate involutionary gestures – how we fix sidewalks and upgrade slums. (...) I think the real question for us is what is the appropriate city for our society, our economy, for the kind of inequality that exists. Looking at Dubai or Shanghai or Singapore as metaphors not only undermines the fact that we’re a democracy but it also undermines the fact that the poor even exist in our cities'.